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'17 C7 PDR updates to add '18+ features?

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'17 C7 PDR updates to add '18+ features?

 
Old 03-13-2019, 06:59 AM
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Marc3
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Default '17 C7 PDR updates to add '18+ features?

Hey gang. I have searched the postings but could not find info that would answer my questions on the PDR.

GM made some enhancements to the PDR functionality reporting on more variables when they announced the '18 MY.

Would these enhancements be available as a no cost update for owners of a '17 C7 with the PDR option? In other words, was it just software or were hardware updates required for the new functionality?

Also, the Cosworth Toolbox. Is this a Windows application that can read the PDR data? Do you get free updates over the life of the software and did the new features in the '18 version require a new update to this software?

Reason I ask is that I am considering my first Vette and looking at new '17 or '18 models. The PDR is fast becoming my #1 options requirement but need to understand if the '18 offers a way better PDR or if there's not much difference or an upgrade path should I purchase a '17.

I have always wanted a Vette ever since my first ride in my aunt's '78 Silver Anniversary edition. Ironically, she took me to see Corvette Summer in her Vette. It was the best day for an 8 year old!!!

Thanks in advance gang!
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:33 PM
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Holy crap I thought I was the only one who saw that movie. LOL
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:18 PM
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Bill Dearborn
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Cosworth Tool Box is a free Windows program from Cosworth that you can download from their web site. I don't know if it is updated to include any more data streams or not. Since the PDR is a Cosworth Product I imagine they will keep the tool up to date with the current PDR being sold. They also offer a tool called Pi Tool Set which permits more detailed analysis. There are two versions of the tool set, a free version that is limited in the data that can be tracked and a $1500 Pro version which can track more data at one time. Poor-Sha a forum member uses this tool to help himself and others understand what they did or did not do when on track. His YouTube account is Hi-Po Driver if you want to see some of the analyses that he has done to date: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDS...IkweraNN2199tg

If you aren't going to track the car I doubt the extra data would be worthwhile to you. I have a 2015 that is missing the new data but even the new data doesn't have what I am looking for (IAT3 or Manifold Temperature).

Bill
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:41 PM
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Jeff V.
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Would it have killed them to let you put a config file on the SD card where you could pick and chose which PIDs or CAN IDs you wanted to monitor?
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff V. View Post
Would it have killed them to let you put a config file on the SD card where you could pick and chose which PIDs or CAN IDs you wanted to monitor?
Only Cosworth and GM know. I sort of doubt it is that easy to do though. The data stream is included in the .mp4 video data stream and you need Cosworth Tool Box or Pi Toolbox to pull the data out of the stream. If you use any other video editing software the data portion of the .mp4 file is ends up in the bit bucket. That is why you need to make sure the original file isn't lost.

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Old 03-14-2019, 05:48 PM
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Jeff V.
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If there was a config file on the SD card when you put it in the car, the PDR would read it on start up, log those parameters during the drive, and write the data to the video file as normal. It's not that far fetched at all. There's a PC based scan tool / data logger I've used that works on exactly the same concept (minus the video part). You set up an XML file with all the PIDs and scaling factors, and the softwarw logs the output to the screen and a CSV file.

It's academic though. They're sure as hell not going to add it now that the system is end of life, and we can't add it ourselves because the firmware is secured on the PDR module.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff V. View Post
If there was a config file on the SD card when you put it in the car, the PDR would read it on start up, log those parameters during the drive, and write the data to the video file as normal. It's not that far fetched at all. There's a PC based scan tool / data logger I've used that works on exactly the same concept (minus the video part). You set up an XML file with all the PIDs and scaling factors, and the softwarw logs the output to the screen and a CSV file.

It's academic though. They're sure as hell not going to add it now that the system is end of life, and we can't add it ourselves because the firmware is secured on the PDR module.
You are assuming they use the same hardware interface to access the data as the PC based scan tool. The scan tool goes through the OBD port with its messaging protocol. The PDR talks to the BCM through one of the secondary busses and gets the data through the BCM from the modules on the high speed LAN including signals that aren't from the ECM. I think the EBCM has sensors that measure vertical acceleration and that is one of the data streams used for analysis of what my car was doing on track. Universally available OBD II Software that talks to the OBD II Data Link may do squat for the other interface.

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Old 03-14-2019, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Dearborn View Post
You are assuming they use the same hardware interface to access the data as the PC based scan tool. The scan tool goes through the OBD port with its messaging protocol. The PDR talks to the BCM through one of the secondary busses and gets the data through the BCM from the modules on the high speed LAN including signals that aren't from the ECM. I think the EBCM has sensors that measure vertical acceleration and that is one of the data streams used for analysis of what my car was doing on track. Universally available OBD II Software that talks to the OBD II Data Link may do squat for the other interface.

Bill
I'm not assuming. I'm working on retrofitting a 2018 PDR into my 2014. I know exactly how the car's internal networks are setup. The PDR gets its data from the high speed GMLAN (AKA CAN) bus. It 'listens in' on raw data exchanged between various modules like the PCM and EBCM. It may also get some data from the low speed GMLAN (AKA single wire CAN) bus, but I'm not certain of that. Either way, both buses are broken out to the OBD2 port. You can read the exact same raw data the PDR gets, if (big IF) you know which packets to look for and how to convert them into a human readable format. OBD data is government mandated and the format is known, so it's easy to write those tools. GMs internal data is whatever format they want it to be, so it takes a little good natured hacking to figure out what's what.

The PDR has this 'secret decoder ring' internal to its software. That could just as easily be moved off to a customer modifiable config file on the SD card, but that would either require GM to share their bus message format (hell will freeze over first) or at least allow us to discover it for ourselves and reconfigure the PDR to fit our own needs. Which also didn't and won't happen.

If you want to log raw IAT3 and manifold temp, AND that data is exposed to other modules via the HS-GMLAN bus, then it will be loggable via the OBD port if you've got the right hardware and software. If the PCM keeps that data internal to itself, then pretty much nothing can log it.

Last edited by Jeff V.; 03-14-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:46 PM
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The additional channels were available on some 2017 cars, my 2017 Z07 actually had them even though it was advertised as a 2018 feature. There is the GM Cosworth Toolbox which is the one GM points you at. It will show you some of the data but it is very fixed in what it displays and I've not seen any of the additional 2018+ channels in this tool. Then there is Cosworth Pi Toolbox which has 4 different SKUs from a free lite version to the Ultimate version. If you're interested in doing real data analysis I'd spring for the Plus version at a minimum (I run Pro). Pi Toolbox let's you add different displays with the channels you choose and also more advanced things like math channels. It just reads whatever is in the data file so the software doesn't need to change. I've read older and newer PDR files as well as data files from 991.1 and 991.2 Porsche GT3 Cup cars without any software changes other than picking the right channel names.

Cosworth Pi Toolset is a different tool that is used on some cars (like the 911 Cup cars) to configure which channels get logged and at what frequency. I've asked Cosworth engineers if there was a Toolset equivalent for the GM PDR module and was told that what gets logged is defined by GM and locked down so you can't change it. Now could you swap out your PDR module with the one from a 2018 car and it might give you the extra channels but I don't know. If you try it and it works please do let us all know.

Three are a bunch of videos on using Pi Toolbox on my YT channel.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDS...IkweraNN2199tg
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